Warriors centre Peta Hiku has played his last game for the New Zealand NRL club.
The Warriors confirmed this afternoon Hiku will depart the team at the end of the season which effectively means his time there is over with the 28-year-old ruled out for the rest of 2021 with a shoulder injury.
Warriors recruitment manager Peter O’Sullivan said the club attempted to retain Hiku’s talents but he turned their offer down.
“We made an offer to Peta but unfortunately we couldn’t match the terms he had on the table from his new club and understandably he has to look after his family’s best interests,” said O’Sullivan.
“Pet has made a great contribution to the club since coming back home in 2018 and we wish him all the best for the rest of his career.”
Instead, the Kiwis utility is linking up with former Warriors coach Todd Payten at the Cowboys in 2022, the North Queensland club announced shortly after Hiku’s exit was confirmed.
"We’ve made no secret of our desire to add leadership to our exciting young playing roster and Peta is a guy who has experience in high-performing systems over a long period of time,” Cowboys Head of Football Micheal Luck said.
“We feel Peta has some great football ahead of him and he is excited at the prospect of showing our young outside backs what it takes to be successful in the NRL.”
Payten added he is excited to reunite again in North Queensland.
“Peta is a smart and experienced centre, who has also shown he can play fullback and in the halves,” Payten said.
“He’s really creative for his outside men, he’s a try scorer himself and he’s a good family man who is going to add value to the club on and off the field.”
After making his NRL debut with Manly-Warringah in 2013, Hiku had a stint with Penrith and then Warrington in the Super League before coming home.
His NRL career with the Warriors began against South Sydney in Perth in the first round in 2018. He finishes with a total of 67 appearances including 18 tries. He has a career tally of 147 games.